Photo Credit: Lucasfilm
A true Dark Side enforcer
The Force Awakens was loved by many, yet there was one scene in particular which pulled at the heartstrings of virtually all viewers — the death of Han Solo. The vast majority of the film includes Han trying to reach out to his son and bring him back to their family, trying to tell him it was not too late to leave Snoke and the Dark Side.
Considering Ren had been struggling with this on his own, hearing it from his father must have struck a chord with him as he was visibly struggling to find the correct course of action as he and Han stood on the bridge on Starkiller Base. As Ren held out his lightsaber in front of himself and his father, the lightsaber was ignited and went straight through Han’s chest, killing him as he fell into the endless chasm below.
A true apprentice of the Dark Side of the Force is not expected to experience feelings of guilt or sadness when killing another person. However, as Ren’s lightsaber seared through Han’s chest, Han looked into his son’s eyes, put his hand on his face, and exemplified feelings of nothing other than love.
In seeing his father do this mere seconds before his own son murdered him, it is likely Ren saw unconditional love, love which transcends good and evil. Regardless of all this, there is one popular theory among Star Wars fans, a theory which states it was not Ren but Han who ignited the lightsaber, thus killing him.
Many believe Han knew the sacrifice of his own life would be a moment to stick in Ren’s mind the rest of his life, a moment which may keep him from ever giving himself wholly to the dark side. In choosing to sacrifice his own life, Han may have believed he would be able to keep his son from turning entirely away from the light, something which still has the potential to happen either in The Last Jedi or more likely in Episode IX.